nimbus

A nimbus is a glowing light that encircles someone or something. A shadowy figure standing in front of your car's headlights might have a nimbus around it.

One kind of nimbus is the holy glow that's said to surround the body or head of a saint — a halo, in other words. Many religious works of art feature Christian saints, each with a radiant nimbus. There is a more scientific kind of nimbus as well, a large, gray rain cloud. In Latin, nimbus simply means "cloud," possibly connected to nebula, "mist, vapor, or fog."

Definitions of nimbus
  1. noun
    a dark grey cloud bearing rain
    synonyms: nimbus cloud, rain cloud
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    type of:
    cloud
    a visible mass of water or ice particles suspended at a considerable altitude
  2. noun
    an indication of radiant light drawn around the head of a saint
    synonyms: aura, aureole, gloriole, glory, halo
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    type of:
    light, lightness
    the visual effect of illumination on objects or scenes as created in pictures
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